You might immensely know Iran, but how well are you familiar with Iran’s epic film industry(Best Iranian Movies)?

We have curated for you, a list of some of the best, if not literally the best, feature films that were introduced to the whole world within the last 50 years. Some of the names might be familiar, like internationally-recognized Asghar Farhadi, with his 2011 film “A Separation”, earning the Best Foreign Film award at 83rd Academy Awards ceremony.

Or the critically acclaimed “Children of Heaven” by Majid Majidi. If you have a taste for deep dives into the cinematic and artistic history of one of the Middle East’s most vibrantly creative atmospheres, you will enjoy this three-part journey. Read more about 33 of the best Iranian movies that you conspicuously should consider watching.

33 Must Watch Iranian Movies

1. Bashu, the Little Stranger

A survey from 150 Iranian critics and professionals showed in the best Persian movie magazine, World of Picture, Bashu was voted as “The Best Iranian Film of All Time”. According to the credits, It was the film’s ability to promote social commentary in a subversive government that made it noteworthy for all times.

33 Must Watch Iranian Movies

The movie takes place during the war of Iran-Iraq when the southern part of Iran became a battlefield and everything was turning into ashes. Bashu is the name of a southern boy who loses his family and his house. Consequently, he runs away for his life and hides in the back of a truck. The destination of the truck is a small village in the north of Iran and this is when everything begins. He finds his way into a family and their good-hearted mother who is called “Nai” in the movie.

This 1989 movie is made by the great Iranian director, Bahram Beizai. Some of the best actors of the time act in this movie such as Susan Taslimi, who is acting and directing in Sweden nowadays. Bahram Beizai uses some contrasts such as North and South, black and white, and dialectical differences. The director criticizes ethnocentric Persian nationalism while marking the tense relationship between nationalism and ethnicity. It is worth mentioning that Bashu was the first Iranian movie to use the northern language of Iran, Gilaki. What is more interesting is that all the actors were northern and they were all fluent in speaking “Gilaki”.

2. The Scent of Joseph’s Shirt (Booye Pirahane Yousef)

Ghafoor is a Taxi Driver whose son was allegedly martyred during the war but he wouldn’t believe it. Although all the evidence shows that his son is dead and everyone believes so, he is still waiting for his beloved son, Yousef (Joseph). Then one day at the airport Ghafoor encounters a strange woman Shirin, who has traveled from Europe to Iran looking for his brother, Khosrow, a missing soldier at war. Both start searching for their loved ones.

95% of the film takes place at night to show the claustrophobia of prisoners of war. The ugliness of, war, the pain of loss, and waiting for someone is shown in the most magnificent way in this movie with a piece of elegant music composed by Majid Entezami which turned to a masterpiece and a memorable soundtrack for Iranians.

 

33 Must Watch Iranian Movies

3. Sperm Whale (Nahang-e Anbar)

A nice, smooth, and hilarious comedy directed by Saman Moghadam in 2015. It starts with the life story of Arjang, who was born in the 60s. From his childhood days, he is in love with his friend Roya, who is a girl desperately trying to climb up the social latter each day of her life. You will dive into the life of Arjang and all the incidents that happen to him as he is madly in love with Roya.

Iran is very open to the comedy. The number that shows the sale of the movie in the cinema is proof of this fact. Iranian’s watched this movie over and over again in the theater’s cause it was pure comedy. You can laugh, you can feel pity for the protagonist of the film, played by Reza Attaran, one of the most famous comedians, and the other glamorous performances by Mahnaz Afshar and Vishka Asayesh. Another thing which makes the movie worth watching is the lifestyle alternation that you get to see during the movie. It somehow shows the history of Iran from the time of Shah, until the present era. Sperm Whale is a comedy that you shouldn’t miss watching. Grant yourself some laugh with watching this hilarious must-see movie.

33 Must Watch Iranian Movies

4. Ice Age (Asr-e Yakhbandan)

The Ice Age movie was made in 2015 and it caught a lot of attention among regular people and critics. This drama movie goes through the life of Babak and Monireh. The difficult social situation causes Babak to work a lot and him not being present at home causes a deep gap between him and his wife. Therefore, Monireh gets involved in another relationship which leads her to drug addiction and wickedness.

The movie is taboo-breaking in Iran since it shows women using drugs. Besides, it shows a woman’s affair which is unexpected to be shown in Iranian movies. In addition, another social issue that is brought up in the movie is the controversial predicament of “Agha Zadeh”. It means being born in an important political family and therefore, being allowed to live an aristocratic life under the privilege and immunity of their family name.

33 Must Watch Iranian Movies

Another aspect of the movie which makes you sit down and watch the movie till the end is its amazing edit which brought an award to the movie in Fajr Film Festival. You will see the story carrying on by the view of different people and it continues until you see what has really happened.

One last thing that makes this movie worth watching is the amazing work of actors and the director. The creative Mostafa Kiayee has done a perfect job in choosing actors such as Mahtab Keramati, who has performed one of the best plays of her career, Farhad Aslani and Sahar Dolatshahi who won the award for the best supporting actress in Fajr Film Festival.

33 Must Watch Iranian Movies

5. Felicity Land (Sa’adat Abad)

Three wealthy Iranian couples are gathered together for a birthday party. At first glance it seems that they have the best life, they are so happy with their lives, and they are literally in the felicity land. However, each of them is keeping a secret from their spouses.

The first interesting point of the movie is its name. It has an irony since Sa’adat Abad (Felicity Land) is one of the rich neighborhoods of Tehran. When you hear the name of this neighborhood, you may think that they are also happy inside their luxurious life. Also, you’ll see an ideal life in the movie. They have the perfect wife and husband, they are rich and nothing is missing, but then you will understand the missing parts of their lives one by one. All these characteristics have come together to make a great movie that is completely worth watching. The characters were directed by Maziar Miri and the actors who transfer these feelings in the best possible way are Hamed Behdad, Leila Hatami, Hengameh Ghaziani, Mahnaz Afshar, Hossein Yari, and Amir Aghaee.

33 Must Watch Iranian Movies

6. Hamoun

If you are a fan of Stanley Kubrick or David Lynch, Hamoun must be the first Iranian movie you watch. The middle-class Hamid Hamoun has been married to an artist named Mahshid for seven years. However, Mahshid is becoming increasingly frustrated with their existence and feels that Hamid is somehow holding her back from her true creativity. When she asks for a divorce, Hamid struggles to come to terms with it. In a series of dream sequences that resemble the work of Fellini, Hamid tries to piece together what went wrong. Known as Dariush Mehrjui’s greatest masterpiece, this compelling film uses subtle humor to tell the story of one man’s heartbreaking loss.

This artistic movie takes a lot of thinking to make you understand the whole thing. One thing that makes the movie a masterpiece is the flashbacks and dreams that Hamoun sees. His work is mostly inspired by Fellini, the great Italian filmmaker. Not everyone likes Hamoun, however, if you are a cinema lover you will enjoy every sequence of Hamoun with the spectacular performance of Khosrow Shakibaee and Bita Farahi.

33 Must Watch Iranian Movies

7. Canaan

This 2008 movie is the story of Mina and Morteza who have been married for 10 years. Mina was Morteza’s student in the university and they were madly in love, but then after a while, her love vanishes and she decides to leave Morteza and immigrate to Canada to study. However, everything changes when Mina’s older sister shows up.

Canaan is a nice and smooth movie that catches your attention with a simple story, amazing soundtracks, and most importantly breathtaking performances. Every minute of the movie you get to see the best acts of some of the best Iranian actors such as Mohammad Reza Forotan, Taraneh Alidoosti, and Bahram Radan.

The wonderful composing of Christophe Rezaee cannot be ignored. He has altered the feelings into sounds that directly goes into the audience’s heart. All and all this movie is one of the best Iranian movies that you must watch.

33 Must Watch Iranian Movies

8. Crazy Rook (Rokhe Divaneh)

This drama thriller is the story of a group of youth online community members, roaming the city of Tehran, looking for good times. Though one night, this gathering results in an unfortunate event. What starts as a prank, unfolds into a complicated situation as they become entangled in blackmail.

Examining the true meaning of friendship and the way we portray ourselves on social media, “Crazy Rook” is a riveting and sometimes harrowing journey which will take you on the edge of your seat throughout. The film won the Best Director and Best Film awards at the Fajr International Film Festival. With a cast full of young talented actors, a new story, and a wonderful way of telling the story, this movie is definitely one of the movies you shouldn’t miss watching.

33 Must Watch Iranian Movies

9. About Elly

The 2009 drama movie directed by the 2 times Oscar winner, Asghar Farhadi, is the story of a group of former classmates that travel to the north of Iran. Sepideh, performed by Golshifteh Farahani, is the person who managed this trip and invited her daughter’s Kindergarten teacher, Elly, to meet their single friend, Ahmad who has come from Germany recently. They rent a villa right in front of the Caspian Sea. Everything seems perfect and they are spending a great time together until the moment that Elly suddenly disappears. Her mysterious disappearance sets in motion a series of deceptions and revelations that threaten to shatter everything they hold dear.

Asghar Farhadi won the Silver Bear for Best Director at the 59th Berlin International Film Festival for the film. The film was also nominated for 10 awards at the 27th Fajr International Film Festival where Farhadi won the Crystal Simorgh for the best directing. About Elly was also Iran’s official submission for the competition in the Foreign Film section at the 82nd Academy Awards.

Best Iranian Movies

What Did the Critics think?

The review aggregator website, Rotten Tomatoes, reports a 99% approval rating with an average rating of 8.2/10 based on 68 reviews. The website’s consensus reads, “About Elly offers viewers performances as powerful as its thought-provoking ideas. One of the strongest supporters of About Elly is David Bordwell, film theorist, and film critic, who has called it a masterpiece.

Lee Marshall of Screen Daily called the film “One of the most remarkable Iranian films to surface in the last few years” and added: “About Elly is a small but compelling ensemble piece of surprising depth. It’s one of those rare films that can be read on one level purely as a satisfying drama, but which also has a rich, independent inner life, centered on big questions about right and wrong, social coercion and the lies people tell themselves and each other.”

Stephen Holden writes in the NY Times: “About Elly is gorgeous to look at. The ever-changing sky and sea lend it a moodiness so palpable that the climate itself seems a major character dictating the course of events.”

33 Must Watch Iranian Movies

10. The Lizard (Marmoulak)

Marmoulak is a heartwarming and saddening tale about a recently jailed petty thief disguises as a Mullah and succeeds in escaping, but has to stay in the Mullah’ role longer than he expected to. This is the story which is said to be an Iranian remake of the movie “We’re not Angels” acted by Robert De Niro and Sean Penn. However, the Iranian one has its own point of view because of all the religious limitations and laws in Iran.

You’ll have the chance to laugh a lot during the movie with the nice jokes and situations of the scenes. However, you might have difficulty with the cultural jokes; so watch it with a local if you can. Marmoulak is full of gentle humanist irony which becomes sadly evident but never too overt. Parviz Parastui gives an outstanding performance in the lead, and all the supporting roles are also acted at a highly competent level. The story and cinematography are quite professional as well. After a very successful run, Marmoulak was banned in Iran as sacrilegious. But, I can assure you that every Iranian has watched it several times and it is one of their favorite movies of all times. So, you won’t be having a problem watching this movie. Watch and enjoy.

33 Must Watch Iranian Movies

11. A Cube of Sugar

Somewhere on the outskirts of modern Iran, at a traditional old house in Yazd with a fragrant tree-shaded internal yard, a whole family is ceaselessly making wedding preparations. The youngest girl of the family is getting married to a decent boy, who is studying abroad, which is the perfect reason for an elegant family reunion. Everyone are ready for the joyous event; however, is a single cube of sugar enough to bring sweetness and happiness?

It is said by some critics that “A cube of sugar” is a sweet Iranian movie. The movie is filled with unending beauties that make you wish that the movie never finishes. The colorful clothes, the “Yazdi” accent of the actors, and the amazing atmosphere of the house are the things that make the movie worth watching. The movie intended to be Iran’s official submission to Oscars 2013 but it withdrew protesting against “Argo”.

Iranian modern poet, Sohrab Sepehri has a poem which suits the movie:
“Life is a small bit
like a cup of tea
and love is right next to it
like a cube of sugar”

33 Must Watch Iranian Movies

 

 

 

 

 

 

Iran, what a place right? If you had the chance to visit the country, you would know that cinema plays a huge role in the lives of not only the youth, but the entire populace. We had the chance to introduce some of the best Iranian films within the last 50 years. From Dariush Mehrjui’s Fellini-inspired “Hamoun”, to Mostafa Kiayee’s socially-charged “Ice age”, you got to see a glimpse of Iran’s creativity on the big screen in the first part of this article. Now let’s checkout 11 more Iranian movies you should definitely not miss.

12. Life and A Day (Abad Va Yek Rooz)

The movie goes through a low-class family which is struggling with poverty, addiction, unemployment, and more importantly, family relations. The family is bound together by the young girl of the family, Somayeh, who is about to get married to a rich Afghan. While all members of the family have their worries about the wholeness of the marriage, she is struggling with her madly debilitating troubles including a silly mother who is gravely ill, a drug-abusing brother, an obsessively compulsive sister, a considerably smart teenage brother who is being ruined in the environment of the house, and a cunning oldest brother in need of money.

Best Iranian Movies

This 2016 film touches on a lot of Iranian taboos and as Mehran Modiri, the great comedian says it presents a new genre which is called “The Misery”. The movie caught a lot of attention and good critics in Iranian and foreign film festivals. Life and a day is the first movie that young and talented Saeed Rostaee directed. He cleverly engages the audience until the very end. He makes you laugh and cry at the same time and more importantly, he makes the audience think after the movie ends.

Best Iranian Movies

13. The Third Day (Rooze Sevom)

War is probably the ugliest thing in the whole universe. Iran has been in the war with Iraq for 8 years. Many families fell apart and many people suffered from the pain of loss; they lost their beloved ones, their houses, and literally everything they owned.

The movie is based on a true story about a brother and sister, named Reza and Samireh, who are struggling with the invasion of Iraqi forces in Khorramshahr. They had to leave their houses and run away for their lives. However, Samireh’s leg was broken and she couldn’t run away so Reza came up with an idea and hid her in the house with some food and water. You get to see how he tried to save her sister in the middle of the war in an area full of Iraqi forces.

Best Iranian Movies

14. A Separation

A Separation focuses on an Iranian middle-class couple who are going through a separation. Simin wants to immigrate to another country but Nader refuses because of his father who suffers from Alzheimer. However, the conflict arises when Nader hires a caregiver for his father since Simin has moved out.

Best Iranian Movies

Festival of Awards

A Separation is the first Iranian movie that won the Oscar and Golden Globe for the Best Foreign Language Film in 2012. It also received the Golden Bear for Best Film and the Silver Bears for Best Actress and Best Actor at the 61st Berlin International Film Festival which again makes it the first Iranian film to win the Golden Bear. The film was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, making it the first non-English film in five years to achieve this. At the end of all the film festivals, the movie won 84 awards and had 45 nominations total.

33 Must Watch Iranian Movies

A Separation is a story of disharmony and misjudgment. It is a story of human feelings and how they are ignored every day by both, our beloved ones and strangers. It is the art of Asghar Farhadi to involve the audience within every sequence and make them judge logically or emotionally. Don’t miss watching this amazing drama movie and the spectacular performances of Peyman Maadi, Sareh Bayat, Shahab Hosseini and Leila Hatami.

Best Iranian Movies

15. A Dragon Arrives (Ezhdeha Vared Mishavad)

A 2016 surrealist film that takes place in 1965, in the aftermath of the assassination of Iranian Prime Minister of the time, Hassan Ali Mansour. Three individuals, a police inspector, a sound engineer, and a geologist are in charge of investigating the suspicious death of a political exile on the island of Qeshm in the strait of Hormuz. What makes everything more mysterious in the area is that whenever someone is buried in the graveyard they are investigating in, an earthquake occurs and someone disappears.

Best Iranian Movies

The mysterious atmosphere of the movie and its documentary style is what makes the movie more engaging. The whole movie is like a true mystery story which can make you feel thrilled. Well-played talented actors and Mani Haghighi’s intelligent directing are one of the main reasons that make the movie worth watching.

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16. Children of Heaven

The first Iranian movie that was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film in the 71st Academy Awards in 1999. After a boy loses his sister’s pair of shoes, he goes on a series of adventures in order to find them. However, his efforts were not successful he decides to share his shoes with his sister. Until one day, he tries to win a new nice pair of shoes.

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The wonderful, innocent faces of the beautiful Iranian children and their code of honor, even in poverty, provide the basis for a very uplifting tale of children trying to overcome a crisis. The direction, cinematography, and music are all outstanding but it is the children that you will fall in love with. While watching the film, Singaporean filmmaker Jack Neo and his wife were moved to “holding hands and crying after seeing the love shared by the children”. Children of Heaven inspired Neo to explore issues faced by Singaporean youths in his 2002 film “I Not Stupid”. Children of heaven take us into the world of a little boy and his sister, letting us feel the love and the trust that they have in each other.

Best Iranian Movies

17. The Tenants (Ejareh Neshinha)

The tenants of a rundown building on the outskirts of Tehran, with no legal heir, face major housing problems to deal with. However, the owner of the building, Abbas, is refusing to maintain the property. What begins as a few leaks and cracks here and there escalates into a matter of life and death as the tenants struggle to deal with setback after setback.

Best Iranian Movies

All you get to see in the movie is outstanding performances with an amazing story full of ironies. A dramatic portrayal of domestic chaos. It is solely through its ingenuity that “The Tenants” has been hailed by both critics as well as viewers as one of Iranian cinema’s best movies as a comedy. Featuring an excellent comedy of observation, in many ways “The Tenant” marked the departure of artistic sensibilities for Iranian director Dariush Mehrjui as almost all his previous films, such as Hamoun, which is fully explained in the first part of our articles. The outstanding performances of Ezzatollah Entezami and Akbar Abdi cannot be ignored.

Best Iranian Movies

18. Twenty (Bist)

A simple story: the owner of a reception hall named Mr. Soleimani, who is a sour, lonely and unloved middle-aged man, decides to close his business in twenty days by the advice of his psychologist. The movie plainly shows the struggle of the five workers who all have hard life conditions and this job is all they have.

Best Iranian Movies

The movie is directed by the young talented director Abdolreza Kahani. He has smartly used some of the greatest Iranian actors and as a result, he received many awards and a lot of good critics from Iranian and foreign film festivals including Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, Santa Barbara Film Festival, Damascus Film Festival, and Fajr Film Festival. This movie can show an aspect of the downtown in Tehran and their hard life conditions which are beautifully shown by the great directing, story and the talent of actors such as Parviz Parastoee and Mahtab Keramati, who won the award for the best actress in supporting rule in Fajr Film Festival.

Best Iranian Movies

19. Red Hat and Cousin (Kolah Ghermezi Va Pesar Khaleh)

With no doubt, Red Hat is the most popular and favorable puppet character in Iran since the day it was first seen in the movie Red Hat and Cousin. Since then it has been an inseparable part of the Iranians houses for both children and the grown-ups. Literally, everyone is in love with Red Hat and the characters that are in the show. The brilliant Iraj Tahmasb made this movie in 1995 made this comedy-musical, a movie for every generation. The story is about a boy who travels a long way from his village to Tehran to work as a showman in a kid’s show, but finds it harder than he thought. The songs that were used in the movie are still memorable and the characters of Red Hat and Cousin turned their 23rd-year performance.

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20. The Fifth Reaction (Vakonesh-e Panjom)

What you get to see in this movie is the law against a lonely woman. Fereshteh, a school teacher, is under a lot of pressure from her father in law, after her husband’s death. She has two little boys which the father-in-law tries to take custody unless she marries her brother-in-law. Fereshteh makes up her mind, and decides to escape abroad with the help of her friends, so she can take care of her sons; however, her father-in-law suspects and in hot pursuit tries to find her.

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The Fifth Reaction, released in 2003, reveals how the patriarchal society views women, and their cultural position. It is Tahmineh Milani’s seventh movie regarding women’s social position and rights in a patriarchal society which encourages women to struggle to get their human rights back. The movie reflects the inability of Iranian women to take any action in a patriarchal society. The movie perfectly shows how women are treated in restricted Iranian families. You get to see one of the aspects of deeper Iranian culture. Vakonesh-e Panjom wouldn’t turn to one of the must-watch movies without the brilliance performance of Niki Karimi, Jamshid Hashempour, and Shahab Hosseini.

Best Iranian Movies

21. Where is the Friend’s Home (Khaneh Doost Kojast)

The first thing that catches the attention of the audience is the name of the internationally known director, Abbas Kiarostami. He is the winner of the Golden Palm in the Cannes Film Festival for the movie “Taste of Cherry”, making it the first Iranian movie that won this award for the best movie.

Best Iranian Movies

Directed by this one-of-a-kind director, Where’s the Friend’s Home is about a little boy who takes his classmate’s notebook at school mistakenly. Knowing that his friend may be expelled if he does not have a notebook in order to complete his homework, he goes looking for his classmate. Hence this film has been seen as a metaphor for the sense of civic duty, about loyalty and everyday heroics. The traditional beliefs of Iranian rural people are also represented.

Best Iranian Movies

You have to watch this movie because it takes you to a child’s compassion to find his friend’s home. Children are used in this movie as a window to society which gives the movie an emotional directness. It is truly a heart-rendering movie. As it was published in the NY Times: “The film locks onto the boy’s thoughtful, sympathetic gaze and questions the authority figures who can’t meet it.

Best Iranian Movies

22. Mother (Madar)

The film is about an old mother who is at a nursing home but she asks her children to take her home to stay her last days of her life in her own house and see her children’s reunion like the times they were kids. Meanwhile, she prepares her children arranging for the ceremonies that need to be done after her death.

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The cast is filled with the names of the most famous actors of that decade. Directed by one of the best Iranian directors of all times, Ali Hatami, “Mother” is not only about a mother. It is about a country and every child she has, represents the people. This 1990 caught a lot of attention and turned into one of the top 10 Iranian movies of all times.

Best Iranian Movies

Don’t miss the last part of this three-series article. There are still 11 movies left from 33 Must Watch Iranian Movies.

 

 

 

 

Watching movies allows us to experience many things virtually that might not be reachable in our lives. They offer us a window of opportunity to escape from the routines of everyday life and the norms of society. Throughout movies, you get to experience love, hate, friendship, richness, poorness and many more feelings that add to your understanding of the world, society, and the people around us. We went through 22 must-watch Iranian movies starting from “Bashu, the Little Stranger”, known as the best Iranian movie ever, to “Where’s the Friends House”, from the only Iranian director who has won the Golden Palm in the Cannes Film Festival, Abbas Kiarostami. Now, here we are, with the last part of 33 must-watch Iranian Movies.

23. Under the Skin of the City (Zire Poste Shahr)

Under The Skin Of The City follows one Iranian family in their everlasting struggle to stay afloat financially and emotionally. Touba, the mother of the family, works hard at a textile factory to make ends meet during the day, returning in the evening to face the trials and tribulations of her family including her pregnant daughter who frequently suffers at the hands of her abusive husband, a son embroiled in radical politics, and another son who hopes to escape to Japan. The movie perfectly shows the inner life of working-class families and their forgotten dreams.

This 2001 movie caught a lot of attention from the critics and audience which brought the award of the best movie in the Karlovy Vary Film Festival and The Moscow Film Festival.

Best Iranian Movies

24. The Mask (Neghab)

People put on a mask when they are up to no good. This is true about the story of this must-watch movie. The movie begins with an accident. The boy, Kamran, falls in love with the girl, Negar, and they get married. After a while, they start arguing and fighting. However, the truth is more than a simple love story.

Neghab is mostly shot at Dubai, where two best friends, played by Amin Hayaee and Parsa Pirouzfar, own a restaurant. Any further details may spoil the movie for you. You will face the truth in the middle of the movie so I’ll let you enjoy watching this drama mystery.

Best Iranian Movies

25. There Are Things You Don’t Know (Chizhaee Hast Ke Nemidani)

The protagonist of the story is a young man, named Ali, who works as a taxi driver from midnight to morning. The reason for this timing is that he is a quiet lonely man who doesn’t want to communicate with other people, however in the process, he encounters a wide variety of people. Finally, one of his passengers gives him enough motivation to act and bring about a change in his life.

This 2010 movie reflects different kinds of people in society. It is one of the distinguishable movies among other Iranian movies because of its different way of telling the story and showing future and past in the most wonderful way. It is worth mentioning that this was the first movie that Fardin Saheb Zamani directed and it caught a lot of attention at Karlovy Vary Film Festival.

Best Iranian Movies

26. The Breath (Nafas)

Breath is the story of Bahar, who is living with her father, her siblings, and Grandmother during the 70s. She is living in her childish and surreal world, filled with dreams and fantasies. The movie’s purpose is mostly reflecting the effect of revolution and war on the life and dreams of a very ordinary, but creative, imaginative, and smart little girl. Over the span of several years, Bahar finds daydreaming the only way she can understand the pain and suffering humans inflict on one another.

Making use of simply drawn animation and a realistic shooting and acting style, Narges Abyar, director and writer, conveys a feeling for life in 1977 to the early 1980s, years of the Islamic revolution and the devastating war with Iraq. The movie cleverly shows how big political shifts can ruin the dreams of an entire generation.

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Nafas (The Breath) is a movie that you can watch several times because of its dreamy atmosphere mixed with the ugly truth of life and the childish story-telling of Bahar, the beautiful little girl of the movie. You will feel like a little child again and experience how children understand everything around them. In addition, you get to see an important decade of Iran in the eyes of an imaginative kid.

 

Best Iranian Movies

27. Killing Mad Dogs (Sag Koshi)

Golrokh Kamali comes back home after a year of separation from her husband and finds out that he is broke and under a lot of debt. She feels bad because of leaving him and tries to pay all the debt and save his husband who is now in jail. However, Golrokh has no idea that she has stepped into a battlefield which there is no way back.

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According to the British Film Institute, “Sag Koshi” was known as one of the best thrillers in the cinema’s history. It has truly a great story that surprises the audience in the end. Directed by the great Bahram Beizai, director of “Bashu, the Little Stranger”, who has proven to be one of the greatest directors of Iran, and the spectacular performance of Mozhdeh Shamsai, who is Beizai’s wife, have all come together to make a thrilling and unforgettable movie.

Best Iranian Movies

28.Hassan the Bald (Hassan Kachal)

The very first Iranian musical movie, inspired by Iranian folk tales and directed by the great Ali Hatami. Hassan Kachal was released in 1970 with the best possible cast and crew such as Parviz Sayyad, Katayoun Amir Ebrahimi, and Esfandiar Monfaredzadeh as the composer, who is one of the best Iranian composers. Hassan the Bald is probably the best old musical Iranian movie that you can watch. It has a wonderful atmosphere in the movie and also you get to know one of the most famous Iranian fairy tales.

The tale is about Hassan who is a lazy boy and never leaves the house. One day his mother tricks him to get out of the house. At this staying out of the house, he falls in love with Chelgis, who is imprisoned by an ogre in an enchanted garden. Hassan the bald, which is now madly in love with Chelgis, tries to save her.

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29. Fireworks Wednesday (Charshanbe Soori)

The film portrays the life of a turbulent couple, Mozhdeh and Morteza, as they prepare for a vacation to Dubai the morning after Chaharshanbe Suri, a festival held on the night of the last Wednesday of the year. A maid named Rouhi is hired by Morteza to help them clean up and get ready for their trip. However, the real Chaharshanbe Suri is in the house where Mozhdeh suspects the affair of her husband and her neighbor.

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The third movie of two times Oscar winner, Asghar Farhadi, is also a masterpiece and like his other movies, it won a number of awards including Fajr Film Festival and Chicago Film Festival. Deborah Young of Variety wrote in her review: “Few Iranian films have tried to realistically depict both the urban middle and lower classes, and fewer still with the complexity of storytelling and depth of characterization in Asghar Farhadi’s impressive third feature, Fireworks Wednesday… The quality of the production is evident in Hossein Jafarian’s fluid cinematography and Hayedeh Safiyari’s nervous editing. The final scenes are a tour de force in which the bonfire-strewn streets fill with merrymakers and the exploding fireworks look as dangerous as a war, an apt metaphor for the everyday violence in the characters’ lives.”

Hedieh Tehrani, Taranaeh Alidoosti, Hamid Farokhnezhad, and Pantea Bahram are the stars of this masterpiece.

Best Iranian Movies

30. Mother’s Guest (Mehmane Maman)

A mother of a poor family, played by Golab Adineh, is expecting her nephew and his wife for the evening. However, a simple evening turns to a dinner party with the help of the neighbors.

The story is simple, you may think but the movie is directed by Dariush Mehrjoi who doesn’t know the meaning of simple. In this comedy-drama movie, you will go deep into every dialogue and sequence with the amazing performance of the actors and the struggle of the mother to protect her prestige.

Best Iranian Movies

31. Yalda Night (Shab-e Yalda)

Shab-e Yalda (Yalda Night) is a story of love and separation. Hamed lives with his wife and her daughter happily. Out of a sudden, her wife decides to immigrate to Germany with their daughter for a better life. After they leave, Hamed sees himself lost without them, feeling missed for his beloved wife and his daughter. So he isolates himself in the house with the memories he has.

Best Iranian Movies

The movie is worth watching not only because it is a good movie but also because of the elegant performance of Muhammad Reza Forutan who engages you with his feeling of love and missing his family. He will make you cry at some point and live everything he is going through. Many people believe that this was the life story of the director, Kiumars Pour Ahmad, however, he never declined or accepted this word. True story or not, Yalda Night is a movie that most people enjoyed watching and it is definitely one of the movies you have to watch and enjoy.

Best Iranian Movies

32.M for Mother

At first sight and at the beginning of the movie you will see a beautiful love story but suddenly this love fades away when the happy couple realizes that their unborn baby is likely to born with serious birth defects. This problem comes from the mother’s exposure to chemical weapons during the Iran-Iraq war. However, the conflict arises when the father insists on abortion because he doesn’t want a disabled child but the mother insists on keeping him.

Best Iranian Movies

Great performances, emotional scenes, artistic sequences, and nice music are the things you get to see in this 2006 drama. Rasool Mollagholi Poor represents one of the best movies in his lifetime career as same as Golshifteh Farahani who puts a spell on the watchers until the end of the movie.

Best Iranian Movies

33. Women are angels

For the last movie, you must watch in this long list of 33 must-watch movies, a comedy has been chosen. The story of a rich woman and a poor man who fall in love might be cliche to you. However, Women Are Angels is an exception.

Best Iranian Movies

This comedy is about a rich woman named Leila, played by the one and only Mahtab Keramati, who is madly in love with her husband Farhad, played by Amin Hayaee. As a result of Leila’s richness, Farhad owns an automobile gallery and a lot more. Though one day Leila finds Farhad cheating and that’s when everything changes. Women Are Angels is a movie that you can simply sit back, relax, laugh, and enjoy.

Best Iranian Movies

Go through the virtual world of Iranian movies and see how is Iran and its people are shown on the big screen. Hope you enjoy watching each of these 33 must-watch movies.